Utah Jazz wing Gordon Hayward, instigator that he is, sent out this tweet Tuesday:
— Gordon Hayward (@gordonhayward) October 14, 2014
That's right, a man who has never made an NBA All-Star Team, who averaged 16.2 points per game last season, whose player efficiency rating was 16.22 and whose real plus-minus ranked 83rd in the league in 2013-14, claims to be the best player in the NBA. Guess that new four-year, $63 million contract must really be going to his hea--wait.
What's that there link lead to?
Yes, as the headline here gives away, this was nothing more than a clever bit of viral gamesmanship meant to promote Hayward's prowess at "League of Legends," reportedly the most-played PC game in the world.
A full passage:
One on one versus LeBron James? He would get crushed. We would all be witnesses to a straight up annihilation.
The reigning MVP, Kevin Durant? I'm LOLing. Go ahead and put him with Russell Westbrook. Throw Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and Dwight Howard in there, just for kicks. They'd still have no chance.
Honestly, take any five NBA players you want and put them on the same squad. It doesn't really matter. I'd beat them all. It would be like playing a bunch of kindergartners.
I repeat: I'm the best in the game. And probably in all the other major sports, too.
No athlete on earth is as good at League of Legends as I am.
Problem is, a lot of people thought Hayward was being serious -- not just because the Internet is a reactive place, but because Hayward's tweet was so popular that his site was overloaded with traffic, giving many would-be visitors a message like this:
Let's hope, for Hayward's sake, LeBron James was able to read the man's screed on gaming. Otherwise he might use it as bulletin board material when the Cleveland Cavaliers visit Salt Lake City on Nov. 5, leading to a Cavs win, after which Hayward would beg Adam Silver to let a "LoL" rematch count in the standings.
We don't think Silver would go for that one.
UPDATE: As "LoL" goes, there seems to be some truth to Hayward's claim that he can game. In February he sat down with Team Curse, a top "League of Legends" outfit, and showed his moves.
After his Twitter boast, Hayward also got a shoutout from Team Curse gamer Joedat Esfahani:
— Joedat Esfahani (@VoyboyLoL) October 15, 2014